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Letter to the Editor: Book Banning Dangerous Game | Letters to the Editor


For the editor,

In 1980, author Barbara Tuchman in her address to the Library of Congress said, “Without books, history is silent, literature mute, science paralyzed, thought and speculation stalled. Without books, civilization would have been impossible.

Banning books can lead us down a rabbit hole from which it will be difficult to get out. When books that have won a Newberry Award for Excellence in Literature are banned, it causes great concern that we should all pay attention to. These individual books do not come close to being similar to the ideas of critical race theory. The latter participates in ongoing courses – in some cases workshops – with in-depth lesson plans and activities that continually focus on one theme: hate and victimization. If there is a singular book related to it, believe me, it won’t win a Newberry Award.

That being said, there may be some books that, when reviewed, may not match the growth and development of children in kindergarten through fifth grade. However, that does not mean that these books should be thrown away and not be seen in our middle and high school libraries.

Moms for Liberty and any other group should not take the place of what we as parents can and should decide what we want our children to be exposed to. Nor should we use the excuse that such an exhibition can only take place at home, because we suppress ideas for shared reflection and discussion. Once we allow these groups to be our conscience, their influence grows. Each success in a book ban results in more books being removed from library shelves.

The Herald’s article on Freedom Middle School showed how books can be used positively across the student body. In one district where I worked, a parent had the right to question a specific book that was part of the literature program. The district had implemented that if a book was objectionable, the student could choose another book from a given list, read it, and then complete the activities assigned to all students. Books were not banned, just an alternative was given.

Again, I urge all of you to be careful of who is running for a school board position and which groups want to decide for you what to teach your children. Let them know that you gladly take on this responsibility.

Ed Wagner

spring hill